“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
The Bible is like a treasure chest filled with great and precious promises. It is designed to help the child of God navigate his way through life, and provide comfort during times of difficulty. While these promises are seemingly endless, there are certain ones that have had tremendous impact upon believers, down through the ages. Jeremiah 29:11 is one such promise. Written to a group of believers facing dark and difficult times, this verse is designed to provide hope, help and consolation.
Due to years of wandering from the ways of God, the people of Israel were overthrown by Babylonian forces. In accordance with the practices of the day, the defeated were taken captive to Babylon. Now, living as prisoners of war in a foreign land, where they did not speak the language or know the customs, all seemed hopeless. The natural response would be to wallow in self pity, for how they had failed God and ruined their lives. Instead of writing a message to condemn them, Jeremiah gives them a promise that includes hope for now and for generations to come. He promises them that God not only thinks about them, but He thinks good thoughts that will provide them with a future. In a similar passage, Paul wrote concerning the child of God;
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
Those in a relationship with Christ, are now walking a path that will lead them into the plans God has designed for them. We will find abundant life and a purpose for living when we begin to walk according to the ways of God. We will begin to see crooked ways made straight, as God repairs relationships we destroyed, through a lifestyle of selfishness and sin. We will see God transform our homes, and make us a witness to others of His grace, love and goodness.
As beautiful as these promises are, they have no meaning if we are not willing to surrender our ways to the Lord. Those in Babylon who refused to trust God and obey His word, lived as those these promises were never given. They had the living Word of God at their disposal, and were unaffected by its promises. It might be worth taking a few minutes to evaluate yourself in light of the promises of God. Have you surrendered your life to Christ? Have you removed things that are not pleasing to Him from your lifestyle? Are you seeking to live a life that pleases Him? As you do, He will unwrap these promises and work them into your life.